Paul begins the letter by thanking God for the faith of the Colossians and lets them know that he is praying for them. He is praying to the one eternal God that rescued the believing Colossians from their sins through Jesus. By Jesus all things were created, and He conquered sin and death and resides as the head of the church. Paul is working to be a minister for God, which entails making the Gospel known to all, including non-Jews (Gentiles), and strengthening the church.
Paul then tells the Colossians that they must walk in Christ, adhering to what is good, and set their minds on what Christ wants. They are to put to death sins of the flesh, such as sexual immorality, covetousness, and malice, and walk with compassion, love, and kindness instead, doing all things in Jesus’s name. Believing wives are to submit to their husbands, and believing husbands are to love their wives as Christ self-sacrificially loved the church. Believing children are to honor their parents, fathers are to discipline and instruct their children, servants are to obey their masters, and masters are to treat their servants well, knowing that Christ is in turn their master. Lastly, Paul gives his final instructions, which includes prayer for his ministry, and his final greetings to the church.
Who wrote it?
Colossians 1:1 says that Paul and Timothy both wrote Colossians, but the pronoun ‘I’ is used several times in the letter to refer to Paul.
Who was it written to?
Colossae was an ancient Greek city located in modern-day Turkey. Paul wrote to the church there.
When was it written?
In Colossians 4:3, Paul mentions being imprisoned. This would mean the letter was written around 62 A.D., when Paul was in prison in Rome.
Why was it written?
The letter shows a concern for false teachings in Chapter 2, so this may have been a problem facing the church there.
How does Colossians apply to me?
The first chapter of the letter praises Jesus by naming Him the ‘firstborn of all creation’. Indeed, Christ has always existed as God before He was born on Earth (John 1:1, John 1:14). Naturally, that means Jesus rules over everything created by God. But Jesus also lived as a human and died so that man would be reconciled to God. So then, Jesus led the way into eternal life for His believers. All this supports Paul’s most prominent message of the letter: Jesus is Lord supreme.
As for all posts in this series, a book introduction in a good study Bible will provide more information than listed here. The ESV Study Bible is one recommendation.
The Bible Project video on Colossians